Let’s talk. About exercise that is. I’ve heard all the excuses: No time for exercise, no money to join a gym, too hard, too many people. Blah blah blah. Yes it’s tough out there and life is tougher. But there is one form of exercise which everyone has the ability to do, and it’s impervious to excuses. That high tech exercise that is all the rage is…walking. It’s not Zumba, Spin, Pilates or Yoga, and it probably would put Jane Fonda to sleep, but in my NYC podiatry practice I often recommend walking as a great form of exercise to many of my patients.
And why is that? It’s easy, cheap, portable, and the health benefits are myriad. It’s good for the heart, can prevent diabetes, relieves stress, burns calories and promotes overall health. And it doesn’t take much. Studies consistently show that walking just 20-30 minutes a day, five days a week, is beneficial in both the long and short term. That’s not a lot of time – it’s a lunch break, or the difference between taking one cab or bus or train and walking.
So what does it take? Not much, really. First of all the will to do it! Beyond that, it’s a decent pair of shoesrefreshed twice a year, and ideally, a pair of custom orthotics. Start slow, warm up for a few minutes and end with a cool down phase. Just enough to break a small sweat, but not quite enough to repel your cubicle mates from the BO. The diabetics out there will notice better glycemic control. Blood pressure is more tightly controlled. Stress and calories melt away. And with a few good podcasts or audio books along for the ride, you can even exercise another oft neglected organ – the brain.
So, now that we are in the middle of June, and the weather is fine, and when it actually stops raining here in NYC, get out there for a walk. Skip that elevator, take the parking space that’s a little farther away, and walk instead of taking the bus or a cab. You’ll thank me later.
See you in the office.